Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1994 Nov;19(5):359-67.

Huntington's disease: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Alberta Hospital, Edmonton.

Abstract

This review of the clinical features of Huntington's disease incorporates recent developments in pathophysiology, preclinical diagnosis and treatment. Although the mechanism initiating and guiding the cell destruction in this illness is currently unknown, the excitatory neurotoxin and the energy metabolism models may provide a valuable direction for future research. Similarly, although the precise relation between the neuroanatomical damage in Huntington's disease and the functional disability is not clear, applications of recently developed neural connection models have implicated a number of important brain-behavior associations. Preclinical diagnostic procedures have evolved through successive iterations that have each contributed to increased reliability. New functional brain imaging techniques are sure to add to this promising domain in the future. Preclinical diagnosis has been stimulated by the recent isolation of the Huntington's gene which has also rekindled awareness of the importance of informed genetic counselling and the inherent ethical dilemmas in genetic testing. Treatment approaches to Huntington's disease have been confined to palliative care with secondary symptom management and psychotherapeutic support. Experimental therapeutic strategies for the illness itself have had a rather disappointing record to date. Further developments in NMDA antagonism and neural cell grafting may provide some hope for the future.

PMID:
7528535
PMCID:
PMC1188625
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center